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U of M dropout heads to St. Louis

After one season with the Gophers, men’s hockey defenseman Erik Johnson jumped to the NHL to join the St. Louis Blues next season, Friday’s Minnesota Daily reported. Johnson said his three-year contract will be in the neighborhood of $765,000 each season, plus a signing bonus. Thursday’s Star Tribune puts his salary at $850,000 with the potential of earning $2 million a year with incentives. Johnson was the first Minnesotan ever to be a first overall pick in the 2006 NHL draft. He turned down the chance to join the Blues for the remainder of this season.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch shows a color picture of Johnson putting on a Blues jersey last summer after being chosen first overall draft pick in Canada. This related article is from March 27, 2007, speculating whether Johnson would join the Blues to finish out their season and help them during the playoffs. It refers to his current team as being the Minnesota “Golden? Gophers.